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Monday, December 22, 2014

Let us sing Muslim songs around the crib for Christmas

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Shortly before Christmas, politicians and religious leaders support the singing of Muslim songs in Christmas church services as a sign of understanding. Conversely, Christian songs should be sung in mosques.

"It would be a great sign of peace among the religions, when in the church an Islamic song is sung and in the mosque a Christmas song," said the Green Party Member of Parliament Omid Nouri Pour told the "Bild" on Monday.

The Baden-Württemberg SPD member of parliament Thomas Funk called for a signal of understanding between religions. He would like it if "it could be conveyed with a song," Funk told the "Bild".
The Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Amman Mazyek suggested as a song for the Christmas services "Tala'a al-Badru alayna" ("The full moon rose over us"). "That would be a wonderful sign of peace and compassion," said Mazyek. (see below- for the text
The Catholic and Protestant church did not want to comment on the initiative officially. Northern German towns wanted to "carefully consider and discuss" the proposal, according to the "Bild". During the service, usually five or six songs are sung. In mosques, only the Imam sings.

Pegida demonstrates again
The Pegida Alliance invited meanwhile to a "shared carol singing" in the square in front of the Semper Opera House. Two days before Christmas, the organizers in Dresden want to protest again against the alleged alienation by refugees. The alliance "Dresden Nazi-free" plans a counter-demonstration with a rally on the adjacent Castle Square.

In contrast, the alliance "Dresden for All" wants, because of the approaching Christmas celebrations, wants to avoid street protests and called for the participation in the ecumenical prayer for peace in the Holy Cross Church. In other German cities churches, trade unions and civil society groups have called for demonstrations against "Pegida".

Bishops urges commitment to immigration

The Bishop of the Protestant Church in Central Germany (EKM), Ilse Junker man, has demanded that Germany becomes committed as an country welcoming immigrants. "It takes a conscious choice to acknowledge the fact that we are a country of immigration. We need a specific immigration policy. "In the" Pegida "demonstrations concern is expressed that our laws and values system will be changed by people who come from other cultures and religions".  Immigration and asylum are mixed here, according to Junkermann.  "Both require clear rules - and a clear yes. Unfortunately, so far the Chancellor does not speak clearly of asylum as a human right and of a welcoming culture. Clear political orientation is lacking. "


The "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West" (Pegida) object to amongs other things an alleged alienation of land and want a sharper asylum law. Last Monday, the alliance turned out 15000 for a demonstration, despite nationwide criticism. Approximately 5650 people took part in various counter-demonstrations. Saxony's Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich (CDU) called on the protesters in the "Leipziger Volkszeitung" to show more tolerance. 

Source:

The Full Moon Rose over us!
Tala'a al-Badru Alayna
This was originally sung to the Prophet Muhammed.
طلع البدر علينا
ṭala‘a 'l-badru ‘alaynā
The full moon rose over us
من ثنيات الوداع
min thaniyyāti 'l-wadā‘
From the valley of Wada'‘
وجب الشكر علينا
wajaba 'l-shukru ‘alaynā
And it is incumbent upon us to show gratitude
ما دعى لله داع
mā da‘ā li-l-lāhi dā‘
For as long as anyone in existence calls out to God
أيها المبعوث فينا
’ayyuha 'l-mab‘ūthu fīnā
Oh our Messenger (Emissary) amongst us
جئت بالأمر المطاع
ji’ta bi-l-’amri 'l-muṭā‘
Who comes with the exhortations (injunctions/commandments) to be heeded
جئت شرفت المدينة
ji’ta sharrafta 'l-madīnah
You have brought to this city nobility

مرحبا يا خير داع
marḥaban yā khayra dā‘
Welcome you who call us to a good way


Friday, December 19, 2014

The slow death of a monastery

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Church of Ghosts

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The ghosts referred to are the Sudeten Germnans who were expelled in 1945, after Hitler had claimed the German-speaking parts of Czechoslovakia in 1938.